The term trauma originates from the Greek word for “wound.” The first records of trauma date back to 1685, and it’s now a well understood psychological phenomenon. A survey from 2013 showed that in the U.S., 70% of people had experienced at least one traumatic event in the year prior to the survey being taken. Other statistics show that 6% of the U.S. population suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

While we often think about trauma in the context of war veterans or people who’ve experienced exceptionally difficult lives, trauma can affect anyone. Trauma or PTSD can have a significant impact on quality of life and negatively impact people’s ability to function well. 

To some extent, trauma shapes who you are, but there’s no reason to let it take over your life. Luckily, there are many avenues of psychological trauma treatment for people wondering how to get rid of trauma. But first, let’s discuss what exactly trauma is and where it comes from.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is an emotional reaction to a traumatic event such as a car accident, physical or emotional violence, rape or a natural disaster. Shock and denial are common reactions that can occur right after a traumatic incident. Unpredictable emotions, flashback memories, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea are all long-term effects.

While these emotions are common, some people find it difficult to move forward in their life or develop post-traumatic stress disorder. People with PTSD suffer from flashbacks and nightmares and often seek to avoid anything that might trigger a memory of the traumatic event. They’re often hypervigilant of danger and may find it difficult to function normally.

While not everyone who experiences trauma-related stress meets the criteria for PTSD, many people suffer from acute trauma that affects their life from beneath the surface.

Treating Trauma

Since trauma is a fairly well understood mental disorder, there’s a good range of treatment avenues available today. Treatment isn’t always the same for every person, so you should contact a professional if you’re considering undergoing trauma treatment. 

Diagnosis and Medical Integration 

The first step to receiving treatment for trauma is to seek a diagnosis. Usually, a professional will examine you to try to understand the root and nature of your trauma. It’s important to also undergo a medical examination to ensure your symptoms aren’t the result of some other underlying health issue. 

Once other ailments have been ruled out and you’ve been diagnosed, you can start treatment for emotional trauma. 

Psychopharmaceutical Treatment

Psychopharmacology is the field of using medicine to treat mental disorders. Our moods, emotions and mental states often change in parallel with some chemical change in our brain. For this reason, medical intervention that can help stabilize brain’s chemistry is an effective way of regulating the negative emotion or anxiety associated with trauma. 

Antidepressants, anti-anxieties and antipsychotics are all used in the medical treatment of trauma. While in certain cases psychopharmaceutical treatment can be sufficient, emotional trauma treatment usually also involved some form of psychotherapeutic therapy. 

Psychotherapeutic Treatment

Psychotherapy or talk therapy for trauma aims at resolving the trauma through psychological means. This usually involves sessions of talking with a trained therapist to help you understand and mentally resolve your trauma. It may involve talking about the traumatic event and how it affected you. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is one of the most common forms of talk therapy. There’s good evidence that it’s an effective method of treating trauma, including PTSD. Cognitive-processing therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy aimed at helping people overcome trauma.

Psychotherapy may be used on its own or alongside other forms of treatment.

Holistic Treatment Options

Holistic treatment aims to treat people as naturally and thoroughly as possible. The idea of holistic treatment is to treat not just the narrow issue at hand but the entire person. In the context of trauma, this would mean treating not only the negative thoughts and emotions but also the physical manifestations of the trauma. 

Some holistic emotional trauma treatments include: 

  • Yoga. The practice of yoga has roots in ancient India and involves unifying the mind, body and breath to achieve relaxation, peace and calm. It uses a combination of mediation practices, physical postures and breathing exercises and has been scientifically proven to have multiple benefits for mental health.
  • Acupuncture. Another ancient Eastern practice, acupuncture is based on the Chinese medicine system, which emphasizes the role of pressure points on overall health. It involves penetrating the skin with tiny needles to release tension from these pressure points, resulting in relaxation and better circulation.
  • Mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness can be roughly defined as having “an objective and nonreactive awareness of the present moment.” Mindfulness training has been used successfully in the treatment and relief of many psychological disorders, including trauma.
  • Relaxation therapy. Relaxation therapy is another type of meditation training that focuses on relaxing the body and mind. 
  • Natural products. Some people find benefits through the use of natural products, such as using essential oils for aromatherapy or taking natural calming supplements.

Holistic treatment can be useful and suitable for people who don’t feel comfortable going down the medical or psychotherapeutic route. It can also be used to complement other forms of treatment. It’s always a good idea to communicate with a professional about your treatment options to come up with a personalized plan.

Having a Support Group 

Having social support is extremely important for well-being and can be particularly significant for people recovering from trauma. If your trauma is the result of some form of traumatic event, being able to speak with others who’ve experienced similar issues can be extremely relieving and encouraging. 

Joining a support group and having regular sessions with it can give you a sense of relief, support and acceptance when dealing with your trauma. 

Living With the Diagnosis

Sometimes finding out you have unresolved trauma or PTSD can itself be harrowing. Some people might feel there’s something wrong with them, resultingn in feelings of isolation, affliction or incapacity. It’s important to let your diagnosis be a positive rather than a negative, and learning to deal with it can be a big part of recovery. 

Try not to feel disadvantaged and have a mindset of self-acceptance when it comes to your diagnosis. Having acceptance can be one of the key factors that determine the success of your psychological trauma treatment.

Get Emotional Trauma Treatment and Live Life Fully

Whether you’ve experienced a recent traumatic event or feel you have unresolved issues from childhood, don’t let your trauma dictate your life. Luckily, there’s a wide range of emotional trauma treatment options you can explore. Talk to a professional and start to investigate the nature of your trauma. 

Trauma is common and can happen to anybody. There’s no shame in seeking help or psychological trauma treatment. You might need to undergo psychotherapy, medical help, holistic therapy or a combination of them to help you overcome trauma and start living life fully. 

Restore Mental Health offers a range of inpatient and outpatient services for people battling trauma. Contact us today at (877) 594-3566; we’re available 24/7 to take your call.